Barely a day after International Monetary Fund says Nigerians are getting poorer, President Muhammadu Buhari has said that foreign private companies are now coming back to Nigeria.
The companies, he said, were making massive investments within the existing legal and regulatory frameworks.
The president expressed delight over the ‘significant’ growth in the non-oil sector which was creating thousands of jobs across the country.
At a meeting in Abuja with a Qatari business delegation led by the former Emir, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, Buhari named some of the private investments.
They include the $9 billion Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical complex in Lagos and the completed $600 million Lafarge Plant in Calabar.
Others are the proposed rail stock; the proposed $1.3 billion public private partnership with General Electric on Rail Track Development; and the proposed ENI/Agip rehabilitation of Port Harcourt Refinery.”
“As you are aware, Nigeria just exited its worst recession in more than two decades. We have more than doubled our foreign reserves,” he said.
His Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, reported Buhari as saying: “We are winning the war against corruption, we are developing our infrastructure, and we are enforcing the rule of law.
“As a result of this, we are seeing significant growth in the non-oil sector which is creating thousands of jobs across the country.”
He described the Federal Government’s economic agenda as one designed to move Nigeria from over-reliance on crude oil and food importation.
The President told the delegation that in the last two years, the policy has turned the nation into one of the most attractive investment destinations in Africa.
“My administration’s economic agenda has always been to move away from over-reliance on crude oil and food importation. Nigeria is a blessed country, we have fertile land, we have a young and energetic population, and we have a very strong legal and regulatory system that protects capital and investments, both local and foreign.
He cited the current strategic partnership between Moroccan and Nigerian fertiliser companies as part of the success stories.
According to him, Nigeria has at least 13 functioning fertiliser blending plants with another four in the pipeline as a result of the alliance that is purely driven by the private sector.
The President stressed further that In 2017, the country saw significant commitments and agreements by major global organisations in infrastructure projects.
Sheikh Al Thani said that the global opinion on Nigeria as an investment destination had been boosted by Buhari’s strong standing against corruption and adherence to the rule of law.
He also informed his host that the delegation is interested in investing in Nigeria’s oil, railway, aviation and power sectors.